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TEMPERANCE - For a guy not yet 30, Jeremy Lestock wears a lot of hats around Bedford Township, and depending on his schedule and the particular call for assistance, he's as likely to show up at a home with a medical kit as he is with a gun.
Last week, Deputy Lestock was named Bedford Township's Deputy of the Year, an annual award presented to a Monroe County sheriff's deputy assigned to the Bedford District Substation who also shows a willingness to actively participate in the community that he helps protect.
A native of Bedford Township and a 1995 graduate of Bedford High School, Deputy Lestock, 28, said being a deputy was an early career aspiration.
"I always wanted to do it. I knew it from the get-go," said the deputy, who first joined the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in 2000 as a corrections officer working in the Monroe County Jail. "Being a deputy teaches you something new every day. You're always doing new things."
Even before he joined the Sheriff's Office, though, Deputy Lestock took an active role in his hometown community. Shortlyout of high school he joined the Lambertville Volunteer Fire Department, a commitment to others that he has held since, even after marrying his wife, Kelly, and raising his baby daughter for the last year.
For the last six years, Deputy Lestock has been a captain on the township's volunteer fire department, serving as a command officer at the township's new Station 56 that is to be built along Lewis Avenue on the site of the former Fire Creek Golf Course.
"I started as a member of the fire department right out of high school mostly because it was something to do, and I really liked doing that. Now I guess I have the best of both worlds, being a deputy and a firefighter and [emergency medical technician]," he said.
Balancing his responsibilities both at home and serving law enforcement and the local fire service has been trying at times, the deputy said.
"With a family, it's getting harder and harder, but I'm still doing the best I can," Deputy Lestock said.
Sheriff's Lt. Dale Malone, who recently took over command of the Bedford Township substation, described Deputy Lestock as a young officer who is eager to do his job well.
"He gets along with all of his co-workers, and he volunteers to work overtime," Lieutenant Malone said.
Deputy Lestock admits that in the short 18 months since he left the Wayne County Regional Training Academy and began patrolling Bedford Township's roadways, he has learned much about his new job, but has much to go.
"I've got so much more to learn," he said. "The day you think you know everything, you probably ought to retire."